Archive for the 'tea' Category


Green Tea

Green Tea, originally from China, is making fast inroads in the West where black tea is traditionally consumed. Many scientific studies have been made to determine the truth of its oft claimed health benefits. There seems to be a correlation between regular tea drinking and a lower rate of heart disease and tea may even stimulate fat oxidation, while boosting the metabolic rate by as much as 4% without raising the heart rate.

Why are we posting about green tea, which we’ve mentioned before on these pages? We received quite a few emails asking for a Green Tea Cake recipe, after looking at various posts throughout the blogosphere we settled for this one (it sounds interesting and delicious!). Found it on the Dessert First blog:

Photo by: Pastrygirl, from Dessert First blog

Green Tea Cake with Red Bean Filling

Green Tea Genoise

2 eggs, room temperature
2 ¼ oz confectioners’ sugar
2 ¼ oz ground almonds
1 tsp matcha powder [powdered green tea]
1 oz all purpose flour
2 egg whites, room temperature
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1 oz sugar
½ oz butter, melted [substitute margarine to keep it parve]

Red Bean Filling

1 cup heavy cream
6 ounces red beans

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a half sheet pan (about 12″x16″) with a sheet of parchment paper or a Silpat.

Combine the eggs with the confectioners’ sugar and ground almonds in a mixer until cream-colored and light.

Add in the matcha powder and combine. You can add more or less depending on your taste, but don’t add more than 1 ½ tsp or it might affect the cake’s texture.

Remove from the mixer. Sift the flour over the egg mixture.

Whip the egg whites in a clean bowl on a mixer at low speed until they start to froth. Then add the cream of tartar and increase mixer speed, whipping until stiff peaks form. Add the sugar and whip for a few seconds longer to incorporate.

Scoop about 1/3 of the egg whites into the egg mixture and fold in gently with a rubber spatula. Add the remaining egg whites and fold in until uniformly mixed. Pour the melted butter over the batter and fold in to incorporate.

Pour the batter into the half sheet pan and distribute it evenly with an offset spatula, making the layer as level and smooth as possible.

Bake in the oven for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the cake is just firm and lightly brown but not completely brown as this cake should not be over-baked.

Remove from the oven and run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it. Slide the cake off the sheet pan and onto a wire rack to cool. When the cake is no longer hot but still warm, place another rack or sheet pan on top of the cake and flip it over, then carefully peel the parchment paper from the cake to prevent it from sticking to the cake. You can place the parchment paper clean side down or a clean Silpat onto the cake, then flip it back over to finish cooling.

When you are ready to assemble the cake, trim off the edges and slice the cake in half along the short side, then cut each piece in half along the long side so you get four 6″x8″ pieces.

Whip the cream to soft peaks. Fold in the red beans gently with a rubber spatula until they are evenly distributed; the cream may take on a light reddish tint.

Place cake layer on a covered cake round and frost the top with a quarter of the whipped cream. It’s ok if some of the cream goes over the sides; just try to keep the layer even.

Cover with a cake layer and frost the top with a third of the remaining whipped cream. Repeat until you have assembled all four layers of cake.

Cover the cake and refrigerate overnight.

When you are ready to serve, trim off the sides of the cake to make them nice and even.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!



HELPS Tea – It Does!

Herbal teas (tisanes) are infusions usually made from dried flowers, herbs and/or dried fruits with boiling water. Written records going back to the earliest days of Ancient Egypt and Ancient China already described the enjoyment and uses of herbal teas. Available as pure or blended samples, herbal teas are popular because of their fragrance, antioxidant properties and therapeutic applications.

A Spanish pharmaceutical company Pharmadus has come out with OU kosher certified medicinal herbal teas. They have a nice selection of teas under the HELPS brand and we recently tested their HELPS Wellness line.

Between CS and I we’ve tried seven of these teas:

  • Organic Easy DigestionAn aid in promoting a healthy digestive system, reduces flatulence in addition to its calming and relaxing effects. Organic Anise (Fruit), Organic Chamomile (Flower) and Organic Mint (Leaf), combine for a delicious, refreshing flavor.
  • For Low Sugar Diets – With Bilberry (Leaf), Elder (Flower), Juniper (Connaberry), Orange (Peel) and Sweetleaf (Leaf). It is a free natural herbal supplemental as part of a low sugar diet. According to the manufacturer’s specs it may help healthy individuals regulate blood sugar levels. It tasted nice, both when I tried it hot and afterwards as ice tea.
  • Organic R & R – When you feel tense, this is the perfect release. It consists of a combination of Organic Lemon Balm (Leaf) and Organic Passion Flower (Aereal part). CS tells me it’s helped him relax and sleep, I will try it as well.
  • Breathe – From Eucalyptus (Leaf), Organic Thyme (herb), Organic Mint (Leaf) and Organic Linden (Flower). It promotes sinus and respiratory health, both CS and I have used and we both like it.
  • Just For Her – A combination of Organic Sage (Leaf)Organic Lemon Balm (Leaf), and Alfalfa (Aereal part). I tried it and, just as promised, I felt refreshed, relaxed, and mellow.
  • Make it Easy – Combining Senna (Fruit/Leaf), Anise (Fruit), Lemon Balm (Leaf) and Licorice Root it promotes regular body functions relieving occasional constipation.
  • Organic Green Tea Leaves – Made by combining Organic Green Tea (Leaf) and Organic Spearmint (Leaf). This combination, with its antioxidant properties fights and neutralizes free radicals. Some say that it helps keep the skin looking young. The Chinese have, for thousands of years, used it to combat toxins and promote healthy and youthful vigor. Nice and flavorful!

Aside from their medicinal properties, I found all of these teas to be delicious and enjoyable.


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